Tuesday, March 31, 2015

So Far Away...P.O. Dixon

Available at Amazon
P.O. Dixon has recently released So Far Away, Book Two of her series, Everything Will Change. She visited on January 26 after the release of Book One, Lady Elizabeth, and you can read that post by clicking on the title. Everyone was very excited about the book and it generated much interest. Most of you could hardly wait for this one and now it is here. I hope you will enjoy this short introduction and excerpt from Chapter One. There is also a giveaway so be sure to check out the details.

Please welcome P. O. Dixon


“Painful recollections will intrude which cannot, which ought not, to be repelled.”

Available at Amazon
That is the Jane Austen quote cited at the beginning of Lady Elizabeth: Everything Will Change Book One. The quote is part of Darcy’s heartfelt explanation to Elizabeth of the principals that had guided his behavior. I chose it for Lady Elizabeth because of the recurring feelings Elizabeth suffers throughout the story that something is missing from her life, although she is unable to discern what it is.

I had in mind the following quote as the premise of So Far Away: Everything Will Change Book Two.

“Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.”

Indeed. Having one’s child snatched from the bosom of one’s family is surely the most horrific experience ever for a parent. Such is the fate of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet. How could the two of them think of anything having to do with that aspect of their past with feelings other than displeasure?

But what of the child? Reared as the granddaughter of a duke by a loving mother, almost everything that Elizabeth could recall of her past was pleasurable.

What a dilemma she faces in reconciling her past and present as she embraces her chance to reconnect with her Bennet family.

What’s more, there is Mr. Darcy. Just as in canon, he has no use for the Bennets when he first meets them. Here’s how he describes them to Elizabeth when she asks him to tell her about her Bennet relations in Book One:

“The fact is that I found the Bennets wholly lacking in terms of decorum and good taste. Mrs. Bennet is a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper. Mr. Bennet comes across as being so odd a mixture of sarcastic humor, reserve, and caprice as to render him wholly detached from the rest of his family, and the daughters are silly, wild, and uncouth.”

Darcy’s feelings are but one obstacle on the path to happily ever after with Elizabeth. Wait until you find out what else is in store for the young lovers.

Here’s an excerpt:

Chapter 1 ~ Home Again

In this, the first chapter of the next part of Elizabeth’s life, it must be said that some things were just meant to be. Others simply were not. Were she asked if she had the power of turning back the hands of time, Elizabeth would be hard pressed to fashion a fitting response with certitude. Returning to the bosom of the Bennet family was meant to be a happy occasion. Pray she would soon realize what a blessing it was—for the Bennets as well as herself. However, it was hardly a blessing to have her whole world turned upside down. Frightening is what it was.

Would that she never knew what it was like to grow up surrounded by such a loving family. Then the separation might not hurt so much. Even if Avery, Lady Sophia, and she remained a part of one another’s lives, things would never be the same.

The hardest part of it all was that she had no one she could speak with to sort out the confusing emotions without the risk of giving offense to someone or another. The one person who might understand a modicum of what she was suffering was far away in Derbyshire.

Tearing her eyes away from the carriage window, Elizabeth looked at her sister Jane. Catching each other’s eyes, a happy smile spread over both young ladies’ faces. Their reunion was a blessing indeed. What a joy it was to have her Jane back after all those years. From the time she learned of her true life, Elizabeth had endeavored to recall what she could of her early childhood. Glimpses of the times Jane and she had spent together as small children, though fleeting, sometimes made the briefest of returns over the past week.

Jane had been a true angel, as well as a source of prodigious information that Elizabeth duly needed to puzzle over in order to piece together what she was to expect of her new life. Then again, Jane would only provide the most flattering accounts of everything and everybody, and Elizabeth soon began to suspect her sister had a view of the world that did not completely meet with realistic sensibilities. Surely there was something of less than perfection in the world Elizabeth was set to embrace.

Elizabeth wondered about her parents, Mr. Thomas Bennet of Longbourn, and her mother, Mrs. Francine Bennet, whom she sometimes heard her aunt Mrs. Gardiner refer to as Fanny.

Fanny. What a whimsical name, Elizabeth considered upon first hearing it mentioned, which led her to suspect her mother, Mrs. Bennet, might be a bit fanciful, with hardly a care in the world about the sort of weighty concerns that often pressed upon her mother Lady Sophia.

She quietly sighed. How am I to make sense of this newfound knowledge that I have not one but two mothers? Elizabeth asked herself any number of such questions designed to give herself a modicum of assurance over what would be a rather unclear next few days, weeks, and months as she navigated the uncharted sea of uncertainty that stretched before her.

Elizabeth could hardly think about the future without her thoughts drifting once again to the past. Her mind balked at the notion of leaving everything behind. Everything she thought she knew about herself had changed, and this was only the beginning.

She stared longingly out the window.

“Pray what is the matter, my dear? You have grown rather quiet in the past ten minutes.”

Elizabeth knew not what to say in the wake of her fluctuating emotions, and thus she remained silent. She reached out her hand in welcome of Mrs. Gardner’s outstretched hand. Squeezing it, she gave her aunt a tentative smile.

Mrs. Gardiner said, “No doubt this is a great deal to comprehend and in such a short amount of time. I dare say there is no cause for unnecessary worry. Or are your thoughts in Derbyshire still, along with your heart?”

Elizabeth did not feel it was best to dwell on the matter of her heart at that moment. Saying goodbye to Mr. Darcy was far harder than she would have imagined it would be. With Avery and Lady Sophia, there was hope for a family reunion. However, in the absence of an engagement with Mr. Darcy, there was no telling when they might see each other again or even if they would see each other.

Would he wait for her? If yes, how long a wait might she consider reasonable?

How long is too long?

Then, too, there was the more weighty matter that had to do with his feelings about her true connections. Mr. Darcy had all but confessed that he did not particularly like the Bennets of Longbourn. That was but one of the reasons she had done all she could to hold at bay any proposal of marriage she suspected he was on the verge of making just before they parted at Pemberley.

How might I possibly accept a life with him when my future with my Bennet family is so uncertain?

As much as she had appreciated his comforting presence and his reassurance during those last days at Pemberley, Mr. Darcy’s magnificent Derbyshire estate, she had to wonder if his sentiments would stand the test of what she was now embarking upon.

Her life was no longer defined by excellent breeding, untold wealth, status, and privilege by virtue of noble birth. The thing that had once bonded Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy – both their mothers being the daughters of peers – was no more. On the other hand, a future between them was not entirely out of the question in light of what she suspected would be her wholly reduced circumstances.

Though I am not truly the granddaughter of a peer, I am indeed a gentleman’s daughter. This alone makes Mr. Darcy and me equals.

Elizabeth could not deny that Mr. Darcy’s finding her Bennet family entirely objectionable when he met them last year might indeed prove insurmountable. She now knew enough of the story of how Mr. Darcy had come to Netherfield with his friend Mr. Charles Bingley at Michaelmas. During that time, he had been made aware of life-changing information, and he simply would not rest until he knew it all.

Contact Details

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Ms. Dixon, what a great start to Book Two. I am excited to read more and look forward to it with much anticipation. Thank you for visiting my blog and giving my readers a glimpse into this second book. I know they will be as thrilled as I am. 

P.O. Dixon is having a giveaway and I know you will all be happy to hear about it. She is giving away one eBook edition of Everything Will Change: Book Two, So Far Away, internationally, and one paperback edition, US mailing address required. Please leave a comment below to be entered in the giveaway. Also please let me know if you will be entering for the eBook or the paperback. Thank you for commenting and don't forget to include your email address for contact purposes should you be the winner. Giveaway ends at midnight April 6, 2015. Good luck to all and again, thank you, Ms. Dixon, for being my guest. It is always such a pleasure to have you visit. Thank you also, for hosting such a generous giveaway. It is much appreciated. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

And the winners are...

I think it is past time for me to announce some winners! All have been notified by email but I have not posted in a while so here goes, from the most recent back.

Aerendgast: The Lost History of Jane Austen
by Rachel Berman

JC561 eBook winner

Quarter Note Pad of 2013 pics
by JT Originals
comment on the review of Haunting Mr. Darcy by KaraLynn Mackrory

Deborah Ann

Quarter Note Pad of 2014 pics
by JT Originals
comment on the review of The Falmouth Connection by Joana Starnes

Tina Carter

eBook of The Falmouth Connection Joana Starnes

anonymous (Jurga_kaya at yahoo dot co dot uk)

Theo Darcy soap by Evie Cotton
comment for review The Darcy Brothers 

Wendy Norris Roberts

The Plains of Chalmette by Jack Caldwell

Melanie Schertz

Lady Elizabeth: Everything Will Change, Book One 
by P.O. Dixon

Paperback - cyn209
eBook - BookLuver88

Pride, Prejudice & Secrets  by C.P. Odom

eBook -  BeckyC

Congratulations to all the winners and thank you for your patience in my late announcing of the winners. I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

8 Life Lessons from Jane Austen...Aerendgast Blog Tour Stop

More Agreeably Engaged is privileged to be a part of the Aerendgast Blog Tour. Author Rachel Berman, a new to Meryton Press author, is sharing 8 Life Lessons from Jane Austen on her stopover. I think you will be fascinated with these lessons mentioned by Ms. Berman. I am always amazed at the astute observations of life and people by dear Jane and liked reading the ones discussed below. Rachel Berman asks a question at the end of her post. Give your answer in the comments and be entered to win the eBook that is up for giveaway. 

8 Life Lessons from Jane Austen

To paraphrase one of the most paraphrased quotes in the history of literature, it’s a truth universally acknowledged that we can learn a lot about life from the novels of Jane Austen. Though her six completed works were written two hundred years ago, her careful study of the nature of relationships rings true. In my book Aerendgast: The Lost History of Jane Austen, Violet Desmond has made a career out of teaching Austen’s works until one day Jane herself starts invading Violet’s dreams. But Jane tells Violet a new story; one about her own hidden loves and losses that could change the way the public studies Austen forever. So what can the real Jane Austen teach us, you might ask? Well, these things:

  1. Listen to Your Heart – If there’s one thing I wish I could tell Anne Eliot it would be that no matter what guilt and responsibility her father and friends are putting on her, only she knows what’s best for herself.
  2. Money Can’t Buy Happiness – Poor Willoughby, what a cautionary tale his life turned out to be. Sure, he married money but that money came with a wife whom he despised. Is it worth living in lavish splendor if all you do is sit around in said splendor and regret your past decisions? I think not.
  3. Be Yourself – Fanny Prince spends too much time down on herself, when she’s a pretty stand-up person. Elizabeth Bennet might enjoy scandalous walks in the rain, but that singularity of character is part of what endears her to Darcy. In Austen’s works, things that could be perceived as flaws are celebrated and that’s great.
  4. …But Consider Others – While I think Emma is a wonderful character, we can all agree that when she insults Miss Bates on Box Hill she deserves the lecture she’s swiftly given by Knightley. And man, if there’s anything to learn from the Steele sisters’ behavior it’s to think before you speak.
  5. Real Life Isn’t a Book – This one is an especially hard lesson to swallow, as I spend a lot of my time pining after fictional characters. But consider the textual evidence: Marianne’s romantic theatrics are fun when one is trying to pass the time on a rainy day, but they’re also dangerous when they blind her to reality. Similarly, Catherine Morland makes up some horror story about Northanger because she’s let all those gothic novels get to her head.
  6. Don’t Exceed Your Income – While I would love to eat out nightly, buy every item of clothing I see, and have homes on every continent, I read what living outside their means did to the mental health and financial stability of the Bennet’s, so, instead, I have a savings account.
  7. Open Yourself Up to Love –Love can blossom from unexpected places and with unexpected people. Be open to all the possibilities even if they’re not what you might expect (hint hint: Marianne, Emma, and Elizabeth).
  8. Enjoy the Little Things – Life is short and everyday is another opportunity to try something new, take some time to do something for yourself, and grow as a person. Whether reading poetry to whomever is within earshot, walking, or singing at a pianoforte, take stock of every happy moment.

What life lessons have you learned from reading Jane Austen? 

Book Blurb:

Violet Desmond has just learned from her dying grandmother that the life she’s been living is a lie.
Left with only a locket, a newspaper clipping, and a name–Atherton–Violet sets off to discover her hidden personal history.  Simultaneously, the London academic begins to have vivid dreams in which a woman from the past narrates her life story involving the same locket, a secret marriage, and a child. A story intimately connected to Jane Austen.
Violet reluctantly agrees to receive help from cavalier treasure hunter, Peter Knighton. Blacklisted from his profession, Knighton can almost taste the money and accolades he’d receive for digging up something good on Austen; the locket alone is unique enough to be worth plenty to the right collector. It would be enough to get his foot back in the door.

The unlikely pair begin a quest for answers that leads them to Aerendgast Hallows. Knee-deep in hidden crypts, perilous pursuits, and centuries-old riddles, Violet must put her literary expertise to the test as she battles to uncover the secret that her loved ones died trying to reveal, before an unknown enemy silences her as well.

Author Bio:
Rachel was born and raised in Los Angeles, which naturally resulted in a deep love of the UK from
an early age. Reading and writing have been favorite pastimes for as long as she can remember. Rachel has a BA in English Literature from Scripps College and an MA in London Studies from Queen Mary, University of London. Her focus is 19th century British Literature. She enjoys hiking, musical theatre, fancy water, pilates, vegan baking, good tv and movies, and researching new book ideas!
Jane Austen has always been an author near and dear to Rachel's heart for her ability to tell a story so compelling, it remains relevant hundreds of years later. And for creating Henry Tilney.


Blog Tour Schedule:

3/2: Guest Post at Austenprose 
3/3: Excerpt & Giveaway at My Jane Austen Book Club 
3/4: Author Interview at The Little Munchkin Reader
3/5: Excerpt & Giveaway at BestSellers & BestStellars
3/6: Review at Babblings of a Bookworm 
3/7: Guest Post & Giveaway at My Love for Jane Austen 
3/8: Review at The Delighted Reader
3/9: Excerpt & Giveaway at So Little Time… 
3/10: Guest Post & Giveaway at More Agreeably Engaged 
3/11: Review at Austenprose 
3/12: Excerpt & Giveaway at My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice 
3/13: Review at Diary of an Eccentric
3/14: Review at Margie's Must Reads
3/15: Review at Warmisunqu’s Austen
3/16: Guest Post & Giveaway at Austenesque Reviews
3:17: Guest Post & Giveaway at Babblings of a Bookworm
3/18: Guest Post at Laughing With Lizzie

Thank you, Rachel Berman, for visiting my blog. It was such a great pleasure to have you visit during your busy blog tour schedule. I hope you are having fun and I look forward to seeing the rest of your posts. Thanks again and best wishes with your book.

A special thanks to Michele Reed at Meryton Press who is giving away one eBook of Aerendgast: The Lost History of Jane Austen. The giveaway is international. I always like for you, dear readers, to have your share in the conversation so leave a comment with your email address to be entered. We would love to have you answer the author's question about a life lesson you have learned from reading Jane Austen. Giveaway ends at midnight, March 16. Good luck to all.

Monday, March 2, 2015

My share in the conversation...Haunting Mr. Darcy

Hello, readers. I have another review for you. I hope you will take a few minutes and look it over. If you haven't read this book by KaraLynne Mackrory, I hope you will consider it. You will not regret it.

A Book Review:  Haunting Mr. Darcy by KaraLynne Mackrory

This variation tends toward the paranormal in that there is a spirit haunting Mr. Darcy, but oh, what a delightful spirit it is. Mr. Darcy thinks he is absolutely losing his mind and Elizabeth is trying to figure out ‘what in the world’ is going on. Why is she at Mr. Darcy’s home in London? Why can’t anyone see her? Why is Mr. Darcy the only one that can hear her? She does not have a clue what is happening but she does know that she is real. All the while Mr. Darcy thinks she is a figment of his imagination, an impertinent figment, at that.

Elizabeth’s spirit is tethered, so to speak, to Mr. Darcy. Since he cannot see her, only hears her, this makes for some very comical and entertaining moments, plus the ‘tethering’ creates lots of ‘togetherness’. It allowed for Elizabeth to be in places with Mr. Darcy that propriety would never have countenanced, under any condition. This permits her to see a side of him that she has never seen. Since he does not think she is real, he says things and does things in front of her that are hysterical…things that are so unlike the Mr. Darcy that she ‘thinks’ she knows. He is much looser and more open with all his thoughts, actions and words. I loved the interplay or repertoire between them. I frequently laughed out loud.

One of my favorite parts in the book involved Georgiana and Colonel Fitzwilliam. Georgiana was worried about her brother’s mental state and sought the help of her cousin and co-guardian. Her concerns, his observations and their conversations were such fun and exceptionally well done.
Although there is a touch of seriousness to parts of the story because of an injury, the darker side was not dwelt upon and the narrative was kept light without diminishing the seriousness of the subject.  The author does give the injury its due but chose to dwell, instead, on the opportunity for Darcy and Elizabeth to get to know one another, especially for Elizabeth to get to know the real Fitzwilliam Darcy.

The concept of this narrative made for fun and exhilarating reading, plus set the stage for many amusing conversations and encounters. Toward the end it became more angst worthy and heart felt, more so for Mr. Darcy, but all is well that ends well and it certainly did end well.

I have read two other published works by KaraLynne Mackrory and they, too, are well researched with good storylines. High on my favorites’s list, this latest one, Haunting Mr. Darcy, is also a superbly written and entertaining novel…a hauntingly delightful tale. I think I had a smile on face throughout most of the book. The parts where I did not, were touchingly tender and tugged at my heart. Thank you, Mrs. Mackrory, and I look forward to much more from you.


If you leave a comment you will be entered in my giveaway for a note pad. It has each of the drawings that were in the 2013 PnP calendar. You may see a close up of them on my website, JT Originals. The giveaway is for the quarter pad, size 4.25" x 5.5". It is the perfect size for a grocery list or a quick note. The giveaway is worldwide and ends midnight, March 9, 2015. Be sure to include your email in the comment.